High-speed Rail and Spatial Equity in Developing Countries: The Case of Turkish High-speed Railways

Baş A., Delaplace M.

13th RSAI World Congress, Marrakush, Morocco, 25 - 28 May 2021, pp.24-25

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Marrakush
  • Country: Morocco
  • Page Numbers: pp.24-25
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


The twenty first century is characterized by the current and future extension of the high-speed rail (HSR) network in developing countries. According to the UIC (International Union of Railways) data there are 47,560 km of highspeed lines (HSL) in the world, 12,892 km were under construction as the date of 1st October 2019. More than 40,000 km were planned worldwide for completion by 2050. The twenty first century is characterized by the network extension in developing or emerging countries (China, Turkey, and Morocco) and by projects in many others (India, Brasilia, Malaysia, Egypt, etc.). If lines are already in operation in China, Turkey, Morocco and others are built (Iran) and projects exist in numerous countries (Brasilia, Malaysia, Egypt, etc.) that is, in very different socio- economical contexts. High Speed Railway systems (HSRs) are an alternative way to the aviation sector and road transportations from the point of time reduce, cost and accessibility over distance of 250-1000 km. As it commonly known that HSR improves intra/inter-regional accessibility, enhance the mobility and can induce different travel purposes. When a new High-speed line (HSL) line is constructed, the cities which are located and have stations on the line are therefore gained advantages from these opportunities, because of accessibility improvements. However, can the issue of the potential increase in accessibility and in mobility be addressed in the same way in developing countries which are characterized by larger inequalities than in developed ones? The issue is to know for whom and for what use they are built. Has everybody access to high-speed rail in developing countries? Who can use HSR? Do low income and greater inequalities which characterize the developing countries influence the use of the transport infrastructure? The main issue is linked to the price policy, to the income level and also to the alternative mode of transportation. The aim of this communication is to analyse the link between high-speed line and spatial and social inequalities. After presenting the Turkish’ case, we will analyse the HSR from the point of passengers’ income, trip purpose and regional accessibility. We will show that the price policy in Turkey and the willingness to serve numerous cities all over the country makes High Speed rail a tool for a better equity.